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Can Arteta take Arsenal that step further and win the league title in 2023-24?

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Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal were so close to winning the Premier League last season, after being sat top of the table for so long, before the Manchester City juggernaut caught up with them. In the latter stages of the campaign, the Gunners let the pressure get the best of them and fell short, but can they remedy that next season?

Arteta’s managerial tenure at Arsenal has already seen him win an FA Cup and Community Shield, meaning there’s credit in the bank with his directors and the fans. An almost impeccable start to the 2022-23 campaign saw the Gunners pick up 17 wins and two draws, with only one defeat in their first 20 matches in the league.

The sole defeat in the first half of the season came away to Manchester United, with the Red Devils winning 3-1. However, in Arsenal’s final nine league games, they only managed three wins, drawing three and losing three. Arsenal’s three draws against Liverpool, West Ham and Southampton proved costly in their charge for the title, as they only picked up three points from a possible nine and ultimately opened up the door to eventual winners City.

Arsenal coming so close yet missing out will should give them motivation going into next season. With the potential additions of Declan Rice and Jurriën Timber, those new signings would not only strengthen the squad but also bring leadership to the side. The West Ham captain has been heavily linked to Arsenal and if they can sign Rice, he’ll feature at the heart of the Gunners’ midfield.

William Saliba, Martin Ødegaard and Bukayo Saka are three of Arsenal’s most important players, with the trio proving to be big misses when they were absent from matches last season. The biggest loss of the three was Saliba, who missed Arsenal’s last 11 matches, of which they only won five. Defensive reinforcements being made this summer would be a major positive as Arteta seeks to move beyond an over reliance on individual names such as Saliba.

Going into the new campaign, one player who may prove to be important for Arsenal is Folarin Balogun. The USA international was on loan at Stade Reims last season, where he netted 21 goals in 37 games. If the American striker can find a place in Arteta’s plans he would provide squad depth and bring competitiveness which could help bolster the quality of the first team. Emile Smith-Rowe suffered a serious injury early in the 2022-23 season which saw him sidelined for most of the campaign but the return of the club’s number 10 will bring flair and another attacking option for the manager.

A critical area that Arteta needs to improve on with his players will be coping with pressure. At the end of last season, the Gunners truly collapsed under the expectation on their shoulders but with that painful experience they will have learned important lessons as a collective.

Arsenal saw their lead slip in vital games as well as the title race, so developing that clinical edge to close out tight matches and accumulate more points will serve them well.

They will also have the added sauce of dealing with Champions League football in the season ahead. That is a prize with which to attract more new players of the quality of Rice and greater numbers will be needed by the North London club as they rise to the challenge again in 2023-24.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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